Dear Washington Capitals,
Please forgive my short-fuse with you this season. Despite the text messages I send out [seemingly every game night] that read ‘These guys fucking suck,’ or ‘It feels like the Caps just kicked my dog,’ or ‘I’d rather take a haymaker from Fedor Emelianenko than watch another Caps shootout,’ I’m not going to jump ship to another team anytime soon, or ever really. But I, along with many Caps fans (it would appear), am getting fucking restless for a Cup.
Maybe it’s living in the DC area for coming up on 25 years now. The last time a major franchise won a championship in DC was when the Redskins won in ’91*. I was 4 years old and barely remember the house I lived in, much less the Skins hoisting Joe Gibbs after winning Super Bowl XXII. The previous time before that? Again the ‘Skins in ’87 and I had lackluster motor skills and was deucing all over myself at 9 months old.
The Wizards/Bullets have made it to the playoffs 7 times in my lifetime. They have made it out of the opening round once. They are currently in the midst of a “skid” where they have lost 25 games in a row away from Verizon Center. Their overall win percentage is .271. There’s a better chance of a sequel to Kazaam being released before the Wiz bring home a Larry O’Brien.
The Washington Nationals are still like a new puppy to me. I can’t get mad at them for losing because some schmuck in Montreal destroyed their franchise after the strike. At least they are living up to their expectations, as low as they might be, on a yearly basis. But even before then, when the Orioles were the local team for DC fans, there’s been few chances for a World Series banner around here. Since 1997, the Orioles and Nationals have combined for 19 seasons without finishing above .500.
Maybe I am taking it out on you, Washington Capitals, because you are arguably the most talented DC franchise I have seen in that span. You were the best team in the National Hockey League last year over 82 games, then shit the bed in games 83-88. The roster this season is largely unchanged from last year’s. Lost a few, gained a few, but the nucleus of last year’s President’s Trophy team remains in tact.
Take a page from New England here. The Boston/New England area franchises hadn’t won a championship in 15 years prior to the Patriots’ 2001 Super Bowl. Since then they have added 2 more rings, the Celtics have won a championship, and the Red Sox have two World Series trophies. Six titles for one area in 9 years isn’t bad. Maybe the Capitals and their talent are the spark the other franchises could use to spawn more titles.
So what do you say fellas? How about you start playing with as much energy that Verizon Center crowd gives you on a nightly basis? How about we play full 60-minute games? How about we start winning games prior to overtime where we are 4-5 [dropping 5 straight before we head to the shootout]. And if we should have to go to a shootout, how about we do a little better than the abysmal 2-6? I assume you’ve all grown up playing hockey – how many times in your life have you gone one-on-one against a goalie? It certainly isn’t anything new. Those are 11 points left on the board after going into OT, guess how many point we’re behind for the top spot in the NHL? Crazy coincidence.
Just something to think about.
* I realize DC United has won the U.S. Open Cup twice since the inaugural 1996 season. I also realize I said “major franchise.”